Is Art of Living a religion?

Today’s post is to dispel doubts in those readers who are confused about Art of Living’s place with our personal religion.

Even though Art of Living is born in India and the practices taught come from India, Art of Living is not oriented towards any Indian religions. In fact, the longer I have spent with Art of Living, I have realized that nothing is further from the truth than someone associating the foundation with a religion, nor with any form of human identification.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it beautifully: ‘Do not accept or tolerate people for their beliefs, love people for what they are’. And, celebrating diversity is an important part of it. Everything taught in Art of Living is compatible with most religions in the world. From atheists to fully religious people from all religions, irrespective of nationalities participate in the workshops, social projects and especially in celebrations (Eg: World Cultural Festival 2016). Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has brought out the realization in us that we are all one.

Many may disagree with me, and I may not have captured the true essence in Sri Sri’s message yet. Sri Sri challenges us to free God, to allow divinity to express itself in the infinite forms as it chooses to people all over the World. In fact, cultural and religious diversity is humanity’s true wealth. We should be celebrating our differences, rather than imposing our version of the truth onto another and destroying it.

I really need a post to explain the significance of Sri Sri to the World, and the genius behind his intentions. His ability to uplift millions cannot be underscored and the significance behind it is severely under-recognized by the status-quo.  India’s gift through generations is its great wealth of spiritual knowledge. Just because this knowledge is coming from India, it doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy it. We don’t apply this bias when it comes to enjoying food, adopting new technologies or political thought?

Spirituality as I have connected with from the Art of Living foundation has allowed me to raise my level of awareness and learn how to walk on this earth like a white cloud, untainted and untouched by events, yet being fully here in service to my personal duties and the grander responsibilities as a global citizen.

I leave my readers with this: Never walk away with a piece of knowledge from anywhere without digesting and questioning it. And, never walk away from it as a result of your personal discriminations.

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